We’ve all heard the expression “You are what you eat”, and your skin is no exception.
Your skin is your largest organ. It is your protective covering and the first line of defense to fight illness and disease. Your skin is also a “breathable” organ. Up to 60% of what you apply topically will be absorbed into your bloodstream, and children absorb even more than that! The foods you eat and the products you use will affect the overall health & appearance of your skin.
Let’s get started from the inside out.
First off, we need to hydrate the skin. That means drinking plenty of water. You need at least the recommended 8-10 glasses/day. If you are physically active, live in a warm climate, or feel thirsty, you may need to up your daily intake.
Also, as we age, our skin tends to become dehydrated a lot more quickly, causing it to wrinkle, so ample hydration is key.
EAT YOUR SUPERFOODS
If it’s good for your health, it’s good for your skin too!
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish, such as herring, sardines, and salmon. Other sources of omega-3s include flaxseeds & walnuts. Omega-3s are known to decrease inflammation and may reduce the risk of acne and other skin problems.
Vitamin C helps produce collagen & prevents cells from damage caused by free radicals. Great sources are oranges, pineapples, tomato, strawberries, & bell peppers.
Vitamin E helps limit sun damage & signs of ageing. Almonds are a terrific source of Vitamin E.
Vitamin A revitalizes skin by increasing cell production and rebuilds tissue. Eggs and dark leafy greens are good choices.
Beta-Carotene is needed for growth & repair of tissue. It is found in abundance in orange foods like carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, and cantaloupe.
Other fabulous foods to include to boost your skin health: Dark leafy vegetables, avocados, mushrooms, berries, and surprise, dark chocolate.
FOODS AND TOXINS TO AVOID
Avoid pasteurised dairy, refined carbohydrates, sugars, trans fats, processed foods and alcohol are some of the foods to avoid for healthy skin.
Some toxic chemicals that should be avoided:
- Parabens – often found in deodorants & moisturizers, parabens are hormone inhibitors & believed to accelerate tumor growth.
- Artificial fragrance & color – may trigger allergies, asthma, and some colors contain lead & harmful dyes.
- Toulene – found in nail polish, hair color products, and some fragrances, this chemical is linked to kidney & liver damage, which may affect fetal growth.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate – a foaming agent found in shampoos and body/facial washes, it dries out the skin & is linked to eczema, hair- loss, rashes, and dry and scaly skin.
- Formaldehyde – used as a preservative, formaldehyde is known by several different names & should be avoided at all costs, as the side effects are numerous.
- PEG’s – found in numerous skin & personal care products, this is anti-freeze and should be used in your car, not your skin!
- Paraffin/Mineral Oil/Petrolatum – clogs pores, causing toxic build-up.
- Phthalates – found in plastics, it is a known hormone disruptor.
- Triclosan – used in anti-bacterial products, it is a pesticide, harmful to the environment, and a suspected carcinogenic.
- Sunscreens –Google some of those ingredients and you will see that they cause possible damage to DNA and many are known carcinogens.
Several of these toxic chemicals are linked to a host of problems including: allergies, skin rashes, cancer, headaches, fertility & reproductive issues, birth defects, hormone inhibitors, and more.
*Of course, there are more, but you get the point. If you wouldn’t EAT it, it doesn’t belong on your SKIN.
You can look up what’s in your skin care by visiting one of my favourite sites: http://www.ewg.org.